Demonstrations in Portland are only growing after weeks of controversial clashes between protesters and federal agents that have seen fireworks, lasers, tear gas and leaf blowers all being deployed.
The crowd of at least 4,000 demonstrators that took to the streets late Friday and early Saturday was the largest since the early weeks of the protests, which began in May following the death of George Floyd, the Oregonian reported.
Thousands of protesters chanted “It’s a revolution!” the newspaper said.
In addition to the “wall of moms” that joined the protests in recent days, groups of military vets turned out Friday night.
Demonstrators launched fireworks in the latest conflict and agents responding with rounds of tear gas and pepper balls.
Each side had leaf blowers to deflect tear gas back at the other near the federal courthouse where protesters shook a fence surrounding the building, according to reports.
Federal agents marched in a line down the street around 2:30 a.m. and released tear gas at close range to clear remaining protesters, the Associated Press reported.
Daniel Pereyo was tear-gassed during the demonstration, telling the AP “It’s extremely painful.”
“It’s not the worst pain ever, but it is discomforting and it’s distracting,” he said.
The Federal Protective Service said officers had been injured.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who got tear-gassed when he joined a crowd of protesters, has maintained the federal agents are escalating the violence. President Trump has praised their presence.
The feds have also clamped down on any drones flying within Portland city limits for “special security reasons” until Aug. 16, the Oregonian reported.
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